Twenty-three coffee cooperative societies in Kiambu, Kenya, have decided to work together to revive the coffee sector.
The idea comes after the once lavish coffee plantations in Kiambu, and Ruiru sub-counties have been turned into housing estates with blocks of apartments rising where coffee farming once thrived.
The 23 coffee cooperative societies will open the Kiambu County Coffee Farmers Association under which they will collectivise procurement as well as process and market their coffee.
Kiambu Governor, James Nyoro said that the county planned to distribute 750 tonnes of fertiliser to the 23 cooperative societies, and will provide the same quantity to active farmers.
According to Nyoro, the second stage of the coffee sector revitalisation will involve rehabilitating old fermentation tanks, drying beds, and other facilities in the primary processing facilities.
Agriculture executive, Joseph Kamau said that the department was investing in a specially blended fertiliser that reduces soil acidity and supplies the farmers for free to start production.
Francis Maara, the chairman of Kiambu County Government Coffee Cooperative Society, said that reduced production and low prices had left coffee farmers unable to purchase necessary items over the years.
Maara said this was the first time the government has helped farmers in coffee farming information, marketing, and processing. Banks and donors are avoiding the coffee industry. According to Maara, many coffee farmers had given up on farming due to weak prices and exploitation.